According to recent research more doctoral students are taking courses online. This makes increasing “dissertation socialization” critical to students’ success.
Menifee, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 2nd, 2014 / According to a recent report by Babson Survey Research Group, 32% of college level students are taking at least one course online. At traditional on ground universities, most doctoral students are socialized and trained to assist with research projects.
For those who are enrolled in online doctoral programs, the lack of face-to-face time with members of their dissertation committee is leaving them disenchanted and confused about the dissertation process. This phenomenon has been identified as low “dissertation socialization” by Dr. William G. Wargo, a leading dissertation coach at the Academic Information Center.
Dr. Wargo defines dissertation socialization as the process by which doctoral students learn to effectively communicate with others (including their chairperson, committee, and peers) about all aspects of their reaserch from conceptualizaton to results.
At brick and mortar universities, students have an excellent opportunity to develop relationships and interact in an academic environment unlike any other. The sooner they do, the less tedious and painful the project will be.
“These relationships also contribute to the student understanding the do’s and don’ts (of research) from the perspective of the chairperson and the committee since they have developed a team approach. In this environment the chairperson is the leader, the mentor, and the protector of the doctoral student.” says Dr. Wargo. When relationships such as these are built, the student becomes more self-assured with their research design, learns to think critically, and work independently.
The doctoral student, who has an established and frequent dialogue with their chairperson and committee members, develops an independent way of thinking and discussing their work. They also acquire more self confidence in meeting the expectations of the program.
Alternately, those students who are more reserved about their research, more passive and reluctant to discuss important research topics tend to progress at a slower rate. One can only assume that those students, who are more willing and comfortable discussing their research have maximized their dissertation socialization, and gained an advantage.
It should be noted though, at many universities and most online universities, dissertation socialization is almost nonexistent.
Instead of spending time in dialogue with their chairperson during the writing process, students submit their proposals and wait for approval or disapproval.
This tends to leave students feeling more frustrated and anxious over the dissertation process.
Dr. Wargo advises – “What doctoral students need are friendly, safe relationships with their chairpersons in which talks and interchanges are frequent and continous. These experiences greatly contribute to more dissertation socialization and ultimately faster completion and higher quality of the dissertation.”
Successfully getting the dissertation approved as early as possible is paramount. The student’s financial and emotional costs are great. Increasing the dissertation socialization is an excellent step toward ensuring a greater percent of students earn their doctorate.
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Name: Dr. William G. Wargo Ph.D.
Organization: Academic Info Center
Phone: (888) 463-6999